Arkansas Panel Approves Raises For State's Elected Officials

Mar 16, 2015

An independent panel has approved more than doubling Arkansas legislators' salaries and granting substantial pay hikes to the state's other elected officials.

By a 5-2 vote, the Independent Citizens Commission on Monday gave final approval to its review of salaries for Arkansas' legislators, constitutional officers and judges. The seven-member commission was created through a voter-approved constitutional amendment in November.

They called for lawmakers' salaries to rise from $15,869 a year to $39,400, an increase that commissioners said was tied to their recommendation to eliminate the $14,400 in annual office expenses legislators can currently claim.

The pay hikes for constitutional officers and judges takes effect in 10 days, while the legislative pay raises will take effect 10 days after lawmakers approve eliminating the expense reimbursements.